Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chinese Lantern Festival

Last weekend our family went downtown to the Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival. The acting director of Riverfront Park, who is from China, was instrumental in getting the festival here. It was the first of its kind in the Western United States. A 20 person crew from Sichuan Tianyu reconditioned and assembled 3000 pieces to form larger than life animals, flowers, 196 foot dragon and a giant Chinese fan.

It will be in town for 5 weeks and I'm really glad we got a chance to go. Enjoy the show.

I could only get the head of the 196 foot dragon
A Professional's shot of the entire thing

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

This was our last day on the Peninsula and we didn't want to do a lot of driving. The refuge was only about 15 minutes away. There was a walking trail and then a little harder one that headed up into the trees. We decided to take the harder one, it was only 3/4 of a mile. It was harder than we thought and the area was supposed to be full of birds and other wildlife but the only wildlife we encountered was mosquitoes, thousands of them. Even though we used repellent I got the worst of it; the little buggers even got under my socks!

Artwork provided by WSU art students

It was a real pretty walk but tiring too. We left there, had lunch and then all of us took naps. I haven't taken a nap in years but it was very much needed. Later that night we drove to the beach to watch the sunset. It wasn't as pretty as we had hoped but it's just something you have to do.

All in all we had a great time and it was nice to get away. It seems like we have been to every part of the Washington and Oregon coast and I wonder if there are any spots left we haven't seen. I suppose we could go inland but it wouldn't feel like a vacation without that ocean that I am always drawn to. 

I come to the sea to breathe.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


We drove almost 2 hours to get to Westport, a small town mostly drawn to for their commercial fishing and recreational charter fishing. The Marina is the largest on the outer coast of the Pacific Northwest. They try to draw tourists but I noticed many businesses have closed. There really wasn't much to do so we just walked around.

That's it for today, it was kind of a boring, low key day. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cannon Beach

Today was an hour trip to our favorite place. It may be our favorite, but it's just getting too damn crowded. We were there by 10:45 but it was hard to find a place to park. Stores were crowded and just don't have the same charm they used to. We did take time to stop for a photo though.

That's OK though, we really went to see the beach and Haystack Rock. We parked at our favorite bench and walked to the rock, or at least very close before our feet gave out. It looks like a shorter walk than it is in reality.

It turned out to be a beautiful day and we got back to our cabin exhausted. Even too tired to go out to dinner, we just built a campfire in the pit and ate popcorn. Now that's livin'!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Long Beach

On this day we didn't travel far, just up and back on the peninsula. Long Beach Peninsula is touted to have the longest beach in the world at 28 miles.

There are 6 small communities on the peninsula and we drove through all of them. It's been years since we have been here. Our daughter hates this story but this is where she was conceived. We spent Thanksgiving of '94 here. So now, try to get that picture out of your head :)

The first place we went to was the Cranberry Museum. We were able to walk around the bog beds. I've never seen them grow before and always thought they were a bush. They are actually a vine which takes 3 years to mature and grow fruit. These cranberries are sold to Ocean Spray. The bogs themselves just look like weedy patches of a field, but when you look closer you're able to see the berries on the vines.

Bogs to the left and right

What's in this field could very well be on your Thanksgiving table this fall
Ready to harvest in October
After we left the museum we drove by this huge pile of oyster shells. They still process oysters from beds there. My daughter and I just jumped out of the car for a few quick pics. The smell was, uh...pretty strong to say the least. Check out the crows on top trying to get the last bits out of them. Yuck!

Our last stop before heading back to the cabin was the place I took pictures of the other day of everything nautical. He was open this time so we got to go in. The inside was just as cool as the outside. We love old floats and these were about 135.00 each.

When we saw these the other day we were trying to figure out what they were. All I could think of was bee houses. But they are bait boxes for crab pots. I should have known that, right?? We got two of them to hang with the rest of our stuff at home.

From the inside looking out

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fort Stevens National Park

It was a beautiful day for an outdoor activity. We headed through Astoria, Oregon to find Fort Stevens National Park. We only spent a little while at the Military Museum, rather wanting to see the beaches and the remains of the Peter Iredale which was a sailing vessel traveling from Mexico to Portland. As it entered the Columbia River, heavy mist and wind forced it to go ashore in 1906. There it has sat ever since. Parts have been removed over the years so this is all that's left.

Another cool thing we saw was where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. If you follow the line of the jetty all the way out, the river is on the right and the ocean on the left. That kind of stuff just fascinates me. I'd love to see it in action with a view from a drone.

And the lovely family of course :)

It was way past lunch time when we left the park and headed back through Astoria. We stopped at a place and sat outside at the base of the Astoria Bridge. It's cool to have lunch in Oregon and look across the Columbia at Washington.

This is a darn long bridge

Hello Washington!